Ask Dr Sarah: My Parents Are Divorced And I’m Worried About Money

"My mam is trying her best but I don’t want to keep asking for money."

Your teen years can be wonderful, but they can also be pretty tricky. In fact, there isn’t a teen out there who doesn’t have something to be concerned about – we’re all human, after all. Do you have a personal problem that you need help with? KISS is here to help, with Dr Sarah, a clinical child psychologist specialising in adolescent issues.

My parents are divorced and have been for years. I need to focus on school right now and have quit my part-time job. My dad is supposed to be paying maintenance for me while I’m in school but hasn’t in a long time. My mam is trying her best but I don’t want to keep asking for money. Should I just get a part-time job again?

Concerned, Kildare

Dr Sarah says: This is a really tough, but hopefully temporary, situation for you and your mum. If you’re used to having your own money and being independent, it must be difficult for you both. She’s clearly someone you love very much and you feel guilty about putting her under this extra pressure. If you haven’t already talked to her, what do you think she would say if she knew you were worrying about money when you’re supposed to be focussed on your studies and your future? Think about this really practically; do you really need that much money over the next few months? You’re not going to be spending much anyway in the lead-up to the exams, so maybe look on this as a short-term situation only. It’s not all about exam results, but good grades can lead to more options, so maybe think about the long-term investment of putting the study in now. Have that conversation with your mum and let her know that you appreciate her support, but also reassure her that this is only for a couple of months you’ll be able to repay her once the exams are over.

For more Ask Dr Sarah,  check them out here.


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